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RAHAT – Driven Minds, Changed Lives

RAHAT – Driven Minds, Changed Lives Featured

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

This quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. is a belief for some people who dedicated their lives for the betterment of the society.

Can you imagine being in dire need of medical attention but not receiving it because you cannot afford a bus fare of rupees 40? Sounds a little unrealistic, doesn’t it? But the tribal people of Madhya Pradesh were living this nightmare. They didn’t have enough money to buy ample amount of food, forget medicines or treatments. How can someone choose health over survival? Suffering was a lifestyle for these people. Well, not anymore because a ray of hope has risen in their lives.

With the help of the Rotary Club, Mr. Vivek Tankha started a medical health mission in 2010 named ‘RAHAT’ for these tribal people.  

RAHAT I was organized at Mandla from 6th to 11th February, 2010. In the camp, 49,634 patients were registered and 5,808 surgeries were undergone. A total of 250 Doctors and over 800 nursing staff participated in RAHAT-I.

The commendable work of the staff gave birth to more initiatives like these.

This mission did not end there. The driven minds continued their fight with the illness and RAHAT- II was organized at Chhindwara, from 8th to 15th March in the year 2011. The number of patients were 73,000 this time and 3,700 surgeries were performed.

The efforts didn’t stop and RAHAT – 8 was initiated at Murena (Madhya Pradesh) from 6th to 13th February, 2017.  A whopping 80,000 patients were registered here and 2,700 surgeries took place.

The President of the Rotary Club, Mohit Chatterjee proudly announced that PDG Vivek Tankha is the man behind these medical camps.

The mission has changed a number of lives and continues to help people till date. 11th RAHAT, arranged at Katangi, 35 km from Jabalpur was a huge success.

In a single day, 8,974 patients were treated by 80 doctors and 225 para-medicals in this camp. Famous endoscopic surgeon Dr. Pradeep Choubey and 15 doctors from AIIMS, MAX hospitals, Delhi, and 65 local doctors from Government Medical College, Jabalpur Hospital, Shalby Hospital, Mannulal Hospital, and Global Hospital participated in this camp. Dr. Rajesh Dhrawani (MD & CEO) of Jabalpur Hospital was the medical head. Free medicines and food were given to all the registered patients. Not just that, they even solved the transportation issue. Special buses were arranged for the people from their villages to the campsite. This ensured that maximum number of people got the medical attention, since they didn’t have to worry about travel fare. The management of this camp was so thorough that they even took care of the smallest details. They gave RAHAT cards to the patients who require follow-up treatment at Jabalpur hospitals so they will never have a trouble and the treatment is completed. All they have to do is to show the card to the bus conductor and the bus will take them to the campsite for free.

This mission is described as ‘Mother of all Health Missions’ by India Today.

Mr. Vivek Tankha has helped over 10,000 people and still counting. He personally visited the campsites and interacted with the patients. He is a visionary, his work and the kind of initiatives taken by him are surely making difference in the society. With his actions, he has proved that an ideal society can exist in real life.


References Links-

  1. https://www.entranceindia.com/people-india/shri-vivek-k-tankha/
  2. https://map.rotary.org/en/project/pages/project_detail.aspx?guid=172EC7D8-0183-40A9-A3F0-2D33CFA0965A
  3. https://www.capitalcityrotary.com/stories/medical-mission-touches-the-unreachable
  4. https://rotarynewsonline.org/power-to-heal/
  5. http://school.sdps.edu.in/board/vivek_tankha.html
  6. https://clubs.vedamonline.com/uploads/Power%20to%20heal%20-%20ROTARY%20NEWS%20Katngi.pdf
A fight for justice Vyapam Scam

A fight for justice Vyapam Scam Featured

What is the Vyapam Scam?

The Vyapam (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal) is the board that conducts professional examination in Madhya Pradesh, India. Vyapam Scam was all about the manipulation in the selection process for Government colleges and jobs from 2007-2013.

It involved politicians, business executives, senior and junior officials who systematically employed impersonation of candidates, rampant copying, blank answer sheets and fake marks.

It is registered as India’s biggest convicted felony that was spread out on a much larger racket. It consisted of 13 different exams conducted by Vyapam for the selection of medical students and state Government employees where the final results were tampered with.

Under the engine-bogie system, a solver – the ‘engine’ was placed between two ‘bogies’ or aspiring candidates, so both could copy from his answer sheet. The ‘engine-bogie’ modus operandi in the exam conducted the Vyapam. This was a result of the bribing and tampering with the seat arrangements.

Cases of irregularities were being reported since mid-1990s, but these cases weren’t a part of the investigation until 2009. This gave light to several unnatural deaths. That is when a committee was organized for investigation.

What did the investigation reveal?

In 2009, a report by the High Court-Appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the MPPEB (Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board) scam revealed 23 to 40 unnatural deaths. The 40 included accused, witnesses, and a journalist who was investigating the story. The investigation commenced on 7th July 2013 after a report was lodged on the basis of information by a civil rights activist, Dr. Anand Rai in association with Mr. Ashish Chaturvedi and Mr. Prashant Pandey.

They provided many leads and digital evidences that indicated connections of top most people of the State with the illicit business including the office of the Chief Minister of the State. In order to verify the truth of the excel sheet submitted by the whistle blower, a report was sought in March 2015 from the ‘Truth Lab’ in Bangalore.

The Lab submitted a voluminous report certifying:

  1. The original excel sheet was retrieved on 18th July 2013 at 04:20 PM.
  2. It was accessed again at 6:00 PM the same day.
  3. And at 08:15 PM (same day), it was modified and changed again.

In March 2015, the Special Task Force (STF) admitted to having arrested over 1800 accused at the Supreme Court. This was said to be the estimated 20% of the whole scam.

However, the Special Investigating Team (SIT) sought a report from the STF i.e. the suspected agency, on the veracity of the material submitted by the whistle blower. As expected, on 22nd April 2015 a report was submitted before the Jabalpur High Court.

To mislead the investigation, the material and the report submitted by the whistle blower was called FABRICATED AND FORGED. The entire exercise by the STF which is not a forensic lab was completed without seeking or calling for any assistance from the whistle blower or the Truth Lab, Bangalore – both of whom had offered their assistance.

After that, on 1st July 2015, the Apex Court reopened an on 9th July, and ordered listing of all Petitions and deaths regarding the Vyapam Scam. For 48 hours, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and the Home Minister of India had outrightly refused to countenance any demand to hand over Vyapam Investigation to the CBI as they found nothing wrong or unfair with the report by the Special Task Force.

It is at this point when Mr. Vivek Tankha, Advocate General and Parliament Member decided it was time to step in. Being curious, he started looking into the feud, and made notes. Quoting this scam as “India’s biggest cover up story”, he took it all up to the Supreme Court. When the reports of 40 unprecedented deaths were dismissed as “totally baseless”, Mr. Tankha realised that the accused as well as the witnesses deserved justice.

Standing by his humanitarian behaviour, he has taken initiatives to investigate and get to the bottom of this huge racket. He wanted to fight for the thousands of students who are scared because of this malicious scam. With Mr. Tankha’s vigour and resourcefulness, he managed to bag two pen drives that consisted both, original and tampered files by Mahendra. (Reference link: http://www.indialegallive.com/commercial-news/states-news/madhya-pradesh-vyapam-scam-twist-tale-38799)

Refreshed charge-sheets have been submitted, accusing the former Education Minister, Laxmikant Sharma, four Vyapam officials and eight middlemen in the case by Special Task Force (STF). Madhya Pradesh High Court sentenced four-year imprisonment to four accused. They are, Deepak Jatav, Bhagirath, Dewan Jatav and Laxmi Narayan. (Reference link: http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/010818/4-accused-in-vyapam-scam-get-4-year-jail.html)

Congress leader, Mr. Digvijay Singh’s statement was recorded by the local court after he deposed before the Judge for over two hours. He claims connection of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister – Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister – Uma Bharti and five others in the Vyapam Scam.  A file submitted by him, along with Mr. Vivek Tankha and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal highlights Chouhan’s name 48 times, confirmed by Mr. Sibal after the court appearance on 22nd September 2018.

He also claims involvement of the Special Task Force and CBI as they have been saving the accused in this case.

Mr. Vivek Tanka quotes, “With Singh’s private complaint, we are going to prove Chouhan’s involvement in the case.”

Mr. Tankha is still fighting for a positive verdict as he refuses to take any steps back. He postulates that such inhumane activities must be stopped for the nation to grow and thrive. Mr. Vivek Tankha is working vigorously against this spiteful malpractice and making sure that the citizens feel safe and protected.

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao – A campaign gone wrong

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao – A campaign gone wrong Featured

India is a rapidly progressing country. We’re acing at improving the technical and infrastructural situation in our country, however, we have been lacking in humanity. For hundreds of years, we have witnessed masses not being happy on the birth of a girl child – not only in rural areas but also in urban, educated cities.  

According to reports, gender bias kills over 200,000 girls in India, each year. These numbers are particularly higher in northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. It was reported that female foeticide takes away a whopping 2.4 million lives in a decade.

Along with many other reasons, discrimination against girls and the technological progress of the country has resulted in the rise of female foeticide. The consequence? A continuous drop in the sex ratio and the constant rise of women harassment and abuse.

To add to this, girls are not allowed to opt for higher education and pursue their dreams. Despite various campaigns and strategies, it made only a little difference to educate the people of India about the severity of the situation.

The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign took flight under PM Narendra Modi’s rule in 2015. This campaign has had two main aims. The quantitative one was to address the declining sex ratio in India, while the qualitative one was to change mindsets regarding the girl child.

Four years after this campaign was initiated, the reports shown are disheartening. Hundreds of thousands of rupees were spent under this campaign. However, not how we were assuming. 56% of the funds were used only for the ‘media related activities’ of the campaign. On the contrary, less than 25% of the funds were distributed to the needy districts. To add to this, over 19% of the funds weren’t even released by the government.

Focusing on the first phase of the scheme, this campaign concentrated on 100 districts with a comparatively lower sex ratio. In the second phase, another 61 districts were added to the scheme. Taking into account the 161 districts, the effect has been very disappointing. In 53 out of these 161 districts, the sex ratio has dropped.

One of the main reasons for this failure is because the Government hasn’t been releasing funds effectively and is spending more than necessary on the publicity of the campaign. At a time where women empowerment, safety, and upliftment should be the main focus of our country, all we think about is how a girl child is a burden to the family.

We, as a nation, should encourage women to do better their lives, after all, ‘If you educate a man, you educate a person. If you educate a woman, you educate a family’. Instead, all that the Government is concerned about is how much publicity the campaign is getting. At this rate, we wonder how soon we’ll be able to improve the condition of women in the country. It’s high time a leader with integrity takes over and brings justice to the women of the society.